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Standard Chartered launches initiative to increase access to financial services for women

The program is partnership with @iLabAfrica - Strathmore University’s Incubation Centre

In Summary

•The initiative will help women entrepreneurs access start-up financing and help grow their businesses.

•The loans will be capped at Sh100,000 for working capital and Sh200,000 for capital expenditure with a 12-24 month repayment period.

Percy Ptoo and EmmaStella Gakuo founders of of Maziwa Plus -Savannah Circuit receive award from Dr. Joseph Sevilla,Director @iLabAfrica and @iBizAfrica Strathmore University
Percy Ptoo and EmmaStella Gakuo founders of of Maziwa Plus -Savannah Circuit receive award from Dr. Joseph Sevilla,Director @iLabAfrica and @iBizAfrica Strathmore University
Image: HANDOUT

Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with @iBizAfrica-Incubation Centre has today launched the Women in Tech Access to Capital initiative aimed at increasing women’s participation in business.

The initiative will help women entrepreneurs access start-up financing and help grow their businesses.

 As part of the Bank’s Futuremakers initiative, Standard Chartered Bank will initially provide Sh5million revolving funds that will enable Women in Tech alumni access interest free and collateral free loans.

The loans will be capped at Sh100,000 for working capital and Sh200,000 for capital expenditure with a 12-24 month repayment period.

 “Through our Women in Tech incubation program, we learnt that the biggest impediment of most women-led businesses was access to financial products and services,” said Kariuki Ngari, CEO, Standard Chartered Bank.

 “Growing a business from its inception is critical especially for women in enabling poverty alleviation and helping build better livelihoods for their families and the society at large. By making it easier for women to access financial aid, we are giving them opportunities for them to succeed,”Kariuki added.

 Most Women-led enterprises are unsuccessful in securing finance as a result of high collateral requirements and failure by lenders to understand their business opportunity.

The initiative will provide entrepreneurs access to interest free and collateral free loans. Additionally, the bank has lined-up training and engagement sessions with the WiTs to drive banking behaviour and further understand the needs from the entrepreneurs as their businesses grow and develop.

 “As a bank, we are alive to the fact that women economic empowerment is fundamental in helping achieve gender equality and sustainable development for the country,”Kariuki said.

Women in Tech program is part of the Bank’s community engagement strategy, Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, that aims at tackling the issue of inequality and promoting greater economic inclusion for young people in various communities and economies, with a focus on girls and women.

The program is partnership with @iLabAfrica - Strathmore University’s Incubation Centre known as @iBizAfrica.